An important part of raising children in New Jersey is ensuring that the financial costs of meeting their needs are covered. This means that in many cases if a parent is awarded physical custody as part of a divorce decree, the other parent will pay child support to help cover these costs. While it is the responsibility of both parents to cover the costs of raising their children, the time the child spends with each parent as well as the financial situation of each parent are also taken into consideration when determining the amount of child support that is awarded.
Ways to establish a child support amount
There are several ways that can be used to establish a child support amount. Some parents might choose to fight it out in court. Others might prefer the court to use the state formula for determining child support. However, if the parents have an amicable relationship, they can also use mediation or another method to reach a support amount that works for both of them.
What does child support cover?
While the interpretation of what child support covers can be very broad, there are some standard expenses. These include:
• Costs to cover rent or mortgage and utilities for the home where the child will live
• Other costs related to the child’s upbringing
What if you need to modify an order?
It is possible to seek a modification for a child support order. However, you must provide evidence that circumstances have significantly changed and merit the modification. These circumstances include:
• A parent’s income decreases significantly due to job loss or a change in jobs
• A parent’s income increases significantly due to a promotion or a new job
• A parent’s incarceration results in no income
• Significant changes in the child’s needs, such as a new medical condition
The importance of child support is to maintain the child’s standard of living. Going into negotiations, you need to focus on your child’s needs and how these could best be met.